Editor’s Note: On Friday, December 7, a Floris mission team returned from Haiti. Since there was no internet available while on their trip, over the next few days, we will be posting blog posts written during their time in Haiti.
On November 29, 2012, in the wee hours of the morning, 10 missioners met up at Floris to begin their trip to Haiti. Most of us were strangers to each other and the nervousness was palpable as we added yellow golf balls and tags to our luggage and weighed it one last time. Rob Saunders loaded us up into the church van as our co-leaders Tracy Saunders and Steve Bracewell, as well as Kate Hoing, Trish Brehm, Larisa Ramich, Jennie Fraker, Danny Cox, Brian McKenney, Terry Drew and Mary Chamberlain all headed out for the adventure of a lifetime! We ranged in age from our 20’s to our 60’s with seven women and three men total.
The flight to Miami was delayed on the runway which necessitated the race to the American Airlines gate to board for our Haiti flight. We made it with minutes to spare and settled into our plane for the two-hour flight south. We arrived at the newly renovated airport in Port-Au-Prince where the process was streamlined.
UMVIM Haiti staff met us at the airport and transported us through the streets of the Capitol City to the local bus station. There we loaded our bags onto a “chic” air-conditioned bus that ferried us four hours west to La Cay, Haiti. Many of us slept, but I could not resist looking out the window–I saw the Capitol building in Haiti which was greatly destroyed in the earthquake and is now total rubble. Vendors hawked fruit and drinks and shoes and the sounds of motor cycles and tap taps filled the streets.
Two hours into the journey, we made a “pit stop” at a local gas station. Unknowingly, a few of us women tried to enter the men’s room and were greatly relieved to find that there was a women’s room in another side of the building! We bought soft drinks and received back Haitian gourds in return for change.
Finally, we arrived In La Cay and were met by the local pastor and his wife who helped us load our belongings into their truck. Some of us jumped on the back of the pick-up truck and held on for dear life as we traveled the few miles to the mission house. A wonderful meal awaited us there. One of the rooms had open windows with no screens and we erected a “princess bed” with a mosquito net topping to protect the women sleeping there in addition to the malaria drugs we all were taking. Soon we were all fast asleep after a 17-hour day of travel.
We all knew that there was much more to come on our Haitian adventure and we all could not wait for morning to begin the rest of adventure!